It was 9 years ago today that my mother died. (Feb. 20)
I find it difficult to picture life nine years ago.
I was a stubborn bossy drama queen. That is, until the universe threw me a curve ball, and I was 10 years older with a mind of worry and panic attacks every hour on the hour watching time slip away from my just as stubborn mother.
I became humbled. I counted every second. I made each moment count. And I lived like I was dying. Because I thought I was.
I never thought possible that this part of my life would ever come. There was a time where I honestly believed I wouldn’t make it this far. I remember begging my mother to stay on this earth, as if she had magical powers that could erase the toxic blood cells from her veins and triple her platelet count, but alas…she had no control. And I was convinced I couldn’t survive without her.
But here I am, doing much more than just surviving, I’m…living.
I’m experiencing life the way I think she would have wanted me to. With pain and heartache. With joy and laughter. With moments of loneliness and moments with genuine company. With loudness and softness. With sadness and happiness. With tears and smiles. With surprises. And with the lessons I’ve learned a few times over because the third time is a charm. With incredible life changing moments that humble me. And moments where I feel so proud I could burst. With life. And with death. And with knowledge to make good choices. And knowledge to realize the bad. To experience it all. To crash and fall. To get back up and try try try again. To love. To serve. And to make people laugh, because I get that from her. And she’d be horrified if I didn’t share my sense of humor. To remember who I am and where I come from. And to start again, when I’ve made a mess bigger than Everest. To forgive. And to let go. And to live much more than the day before.
If the loss of my mother has taught me anything, it is: To not take life for granted.
I’ve come to understand things a little differently with a new perspective over the past 9 years because of this loss.
Death does not have to define us. But it certainly shapes us. And I’m thankful for the path it has taken me on. I wouldn’t want to be anyone else.
Thanks mom, for hanging in there for as long as you could.